Looks like Managed Copy isn't quite what people were expecting

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Shawn Perron, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. Shawn Perron

    Shawn Perron Supporting Actor

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    From the bits interview with pioneer:



    A lot of people were under the impression they'd just be able to load a jukebox full of thier software. Well, it loks like you will be able to, but how much is it going to cost you for the convenience?

    And before the HD-DVD people chime in, it's most likely going to be the same on that hardware as well.
     
  2. Aaron_Brez

    Aaron_Brez Supporting Actor

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    I don't think anyone has been under the illusion that managed copy would be free. Or if they were, they've been ignoring all the signs...

    I'd assume they'll start with about $5 per title, and then through experimentation realize that the price point is closer to $3, or even lower.
     
  3. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    Microsoft's Windows Vista demo at CES included HD-DVD playback, to show off the iHD interactive layer. During the movie, Gates paused it and brought up the Managed Copy menu. The options were as follows (paraphrasing):

    "Managed Copy: A direct copy of the disc ($)"

    "Film Copy: A copy of the film you can stream over your home network"

    "Portable Copy: A standard-definition copy of the film to play on portable devices"

    (Hopefully someone who still has the video can correct my recollections as needed)

    Notice that only one of the options explicitly says money will be involved.

    Also, MS's Amir Majidimehr said Managed Copies to disc are not part of the plan, since then the copies could be given away. It looks as though any copies allowed will be all-digital.
     
  4. Kami

    Kami Screenwriter

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    They could easily make rental discs without a managed copy option. The disc could simply be flagged as a rental, making the player ignore the managed copy stuff.

    Who knows...they haven't fully laid out their plans yet. Sounds like the first generation players might be a mess.
     
  5. Aaron_Brez

    Aaron_Brez Supporting Actor

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    Actually, I think Film Copy is what most people would want anyway (especially if it meant you could skip annoying previews and long menus).

    Overall, I'd take any Microsoft presentation at CES with a grain of salt. The AACS license agreements are not yet in place, though they're close, and it's those agreements which dictate what must be allowed with the content.
     
  6. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan
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    Didn't MS's Amir Majidimehr state this weekend at AVS forum that AACS was just finalized? Or was he only referring to the ICT aspect of AACS?
     
  7. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    I'm trying to find the post in question, but I seem to have misquoted Amir. I must have read it from someone else. Sorry for the confusion, folks.
     
  8. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Ugh? So in addition to buying the (expensive) media, you'd have to pay to make a backup copy?

    Wow, I'm so impressed.
     
  9. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    I'd prefer an "unamanged copy" myself, but I suppose that's asking for too much. After the Sony rootkit fiasco though, I don't know if I even trust the whole managed copy scheme...

    I wonder if this is going to be a little like the multi-angle feature on regular DVDs? Supported, but never used...
     
  10. Aaron_Brez

    Aaron_Brez Supporting Actor

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    Well, this way it would actually be a legal backup copy, as opposed to the current case in the US (I'm not familiar with other nations' laws in this respect, alas). But, yes, that's how it's turning out, for better or worse.
     
  11. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

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    That is very unclear since no court has dealt with making backup copies for your personal use. Also no one has ever been charged. Under remedies, the DMCA says several things.

    "Any person injured by a violation of section 1201 & 1202 may bring a civil action in Federal court."

    "it is a criminal offense to violate section 1201 & 1202 willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain."

    Taking a dvd that you have paid for and making a backup copy for your personal use does not seem to fit either case. Since there is no commercial and financial gain. Since you bought the disc, the studios are not injured.
     
  12. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Yes, I would characterize this as you'd now own a more expensive to make legal back-up copy, as opposed to the current less expensive to make legal back-up copy.

    There's obviously disagreement, but no clear-cut legal ruling that fair use doesn't allow us to make legal back up copies. We now do this by having to buy a blank media to back up to.

    Under the new system (at least as it's described here), the only difference is that you'd have to buy blank media, plus pay a fee.

    I see two problems with this. One, I now have to pay a fee for fair use, which is now free.

    Two, while this would undercut the shaky legal argument that back-ups aren't legal, it would be horrible for them to be able to charge money for something that is currently free. Once that happens, and became accepted, you certainly couldn't make a legal back-up without paying a fee, no matter how ludicrously high they set the fee.

    Not good news, IMO.
     
  13. Aaron_Brez

    Aaron_Brez Supporting Actor

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    While there is no case law saying that backup copies are illegal under the DMCA, there's no case law saying that they're legal, and we have to go with what the law says. And the law makes no distinction on the legality of breaking encryption for the purposes of personal backup copy vs breaking encryption for personal gain or publishing over the internet. It just says breaking encryption is illegal except for a few very specific purposes (temporarily for interoperability purposes, and a few others)

    For the purposes of remedies, Hollywood would argue that they are injured by your backup copy creation, as you didn't buy a second copy when you broke yours. "Private financial gain" could be read in a similar manner: you're "gaining" access to something you would otherwise have had to pay for, had you not broken the enrcyption. I don't agree with this interpretation, but cases have been built on such things.

    george:
    Even with "managed copy", there is not yet a permitted mechanism for copying back to a recordable disk. All managed copies would have to be to an AACS-approved DRM-protected medium, and right now that's a hard drive. No one's tried to apply this to recordable high-def disks, yet, and Microsoft reps on AVS have stated that might not ever be in the cards.

    Even if the (immensely crappy law known as the) DMCA is toothless with respect to enforcement of personal backup copies, the illegality of breaking content protection for whatever purpose is fairly clear-cut, IMO. So Hollywood is attempting to keep that law and its purposes intact (and make a couple of extra bucks at the same time) by offering an alternative which doesn't violate the law.

    The fact that you get personal backups for free right now is, to my reading, a matter of lax enforcement and the studios' realization that it's not worth it financially or commercially to pursue the matter; it's not a legal comment that fair use somehow trumps the DMCA.
     
  14. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Well Aaron, we'll just have to agree to disagree. I think that fair use most certainly trumps DMCA, and I am unaware of a Supreme Court ruling to the contrary.

    As to backing up to a hard drive instead of a disc, I would not do that, and I certainly wouldn't pay 5 cents, much less $5 to do so.

    I agree that Hollywood would argue that my fair use backups injure them, but they made the same bogus argument when vhs came out, and not only were they overruled, it turned out that they were completely wrong. Hell, so far, only one of my backups has even come into play. So if they stopped me from making backups, I wouldn't have gone out and bought a second copy anyway. Their injuries and lost profits from my backups are imaginary.

    I estimate that I have spent upwards of $30,000 just on dvds, which doesn't include hardware, laser discs, etc. Hollywood talks about money they lose, but what they really mean is money that they think they would have made, but didn't. And if Hollywood tries to play hardball with backup copies of HD discs, then, at least in my case, what they'll end up doing is losing $30,000+.

    I understand Hollywood's desire to stop piracy. And I support it as long as it doesn't infringe upon my rights.

    Look, Hollywood could stop piracy cold tomorrow. All they have to do is stop making movies, dvds, etc. There'd be no piracy. And, they'd make no money. Now, that might sound stupid, and something they wouldn't do, but if they put overly Draconian measures in place for their paying consumers, that may be very much what they end up doing anyway, in the name of stopping piracy.
     
  15. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    The obvious other way to stop piracy, of course, is to put the pirates out of business.

    Why do people buy pirate copies?
    1. Availability (regional or temporal)
    2. Cost
    3. Ignorance

    Regards 1- pirate DVDs are available, sometimes, before the film comes out. Okay, this one is gonna be tough. However, some aspects can be addressed: versions coming out in different markets before others? Well, that's correctable. On the othr hand, one could also eliminate region coding. Then, when the film hits Australia the same day the DVD hits America, people in Australia could[/i] buy a legal copy from overseas.[/i] I'm not actually suggesting market the DVD in Australia, but those who wanted it could aquire a legal working copy from other markets where it was on sale.

    Then, of course, there's the whole out-of-print issue. Artifical scarcity is a good way to create black-markets and priacy. Hear that, Disney?

    Regards 2- Gee. This copy costs $39.95, and this one $4.95. Rediculous! There is no choice - especially for people who don't know the difference. (Yes, there are people who don't notice the hirigana characters across the bottom of the disc case.) I suppose most discs ought to be day-and-date double-releases. A bare-bones (excellent, widescreen anamorphic transfer) and the one with all of the features or extras. (Frankly, I find I rarely watch any features or extras.) The first disc should be priced at, say, US$10-$15; the other one can be the $25-65 (depending on the added gunk. Obviously, something like the LOTR:EE discs do involve a lot more work than, say, a disc with a trailer, a slide-show, and a featurette.)

    I dare say the recording studios could learn some of the same lessons. Isn't it curious that the only way a new CD price has dropped since the introduction of the format is via inflation? the number printed on the tag hasn't changed...

    Leo Kerr
     
  16. Aaron_Brez

    Aaron_Brez Supporting Actor

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    Of course they are. Their entire "we're losing billions of dollars per year from piracy" is an accountant's trick. What they really mean is "We're not making as much money as we theoretically could if our pie-in-the-sky model of how consumers should buy movies was realized, and that's just like losing money!" While a vehement MBA could convince a bunch of his cronies of this (and probably the press or government), it's a bit of a logical stretch to extend "not making enough" to "losing money (we could have made)"-- especially when the part between the parentheses is conveniently left out when it's talked about.

    Most people who casually pirate movies would probably just do without if the pirate copy was not available-- they'd play an extra game of Halo instead of watching a flick. I think that Hollywood's assertion that people who buy pirated flicks would feel some urgent need to buy the legitimate movie were it not for its fast cheap availablity is overblown. There is some truth to that in the matter of theatrical sales, I think, but in the general home video market I think they're smoking something.
     
  17. Aaron_Brez

    Aaron_Brez Supporting Actor

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    It's actually even gone up. The record companies are nuts in their picing structure, and could learn a lot from DVDs: price a couple bucks lower and you will sell more. Though with the easy availability and quick transport of MP3s over data channels, it's already far too late for the RIAA to stuff the genie back into the bottle...
     

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